The Archaeology Channel

International Film and Video Festival

May 9-11, 2014, Recital Hall, The Shedd Institute, Eugene, Oregon, USA

Exploring the human cultural legacy on screen!


May 12-13, 2014, U. of O. Baker Downtown Center, Eugene, Oregon USA

TAC Conference on Cultural Heritage Film




This year, the Video Bar will be at the Baker Downtown Center, 975 High Street, Suite 110, in the Belize Room. Here you can watch any of the entered films on individual viewing stations for no charge. All the entered films are listed below. Films noted with an asterisk (*) are also to be shown on the big screen for the competition.


3D Brings Chauvet-Pont D’Arc Cave to Life


Discovered in 1994 by speleologists Eliette Brunel, Jean-Marie Chauvet and Christian Hillaire, the Chauvet-Pont d’Arc cave in the Ardèche department of southern France contains the oldest paintings known today.  These date back to the Aurignacian period more than 30,000 years ago.  Since 1998, researchers have been studying this unique site, year after year.  The cave always has been closed to the public in order to preserve its treasures.  Today, 3D is resurrecting its masterpieces and is opening up a new era for research!  The 3D tool also will be used to build the facsimile of the Chauvet Pont-d’Arc cave, slated for 2014.



778 Bullets


In November 1970, university, state, and local police shot 778 bullets into an off-campus rental home in Carbondale, Illinois.  The residence was rented to many university students assumed to be associated with the local Black Panther Party.  In contrast to other police raids of known Black Panther residences, the Carbondale Panthers shot back.  Using archival material, newspaper accounts, witness testimony, and experts in the field, 778 Bullets recovers valuable history on resistance and resilience in the struggle for self-determination.  The dominant history of the Black Panther Party would have us believe that it existed only in major cities.  However, this story documents a more rural presence of radical politics and the struggle for civil rights.





This documentary shows a series of small interventions taken in abandoned places in the city of Berlin.  Using a pico video projector, the screened images suggest different situations that could be happening at the present day and time.   This is to help the viewer inhabit those places once again.  The places that were visited are an old train station at Greifswalderstraße, Panzer Kaserne, the Iraqi embassy, and Berliner Eisfabrik.  Most of these places are now abandoned due to the real estate bubble or political issues.



The Absent Stone


In 1964, a colossal pre-Hispanic monolith was taken from the town of San Miguel Coatlinchan in the state of Mexico.  It was brought to the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.  Since then, the absent monolith has been present in the memories of the town’s inhabitants, as well as in endless reproductions and replicas.  Using animations, archival materials from the 1960s and the testimonies of the protagonists, this documentary explores the relevance of the artifacts of the past within Mexico’s present.



Adventure of The Soul


The film is a visualization of the “Allegory of the Cave,” a myth written by the great Greek Philosopher, Plato.  This myth brings up the idea of how philosophy’s effect is lacking within our own nature.  Plato wrote this myth as a dialogue between his brother, Glaucon, and Socrates.  The film attempts to portray the actual myth by means of cinematic language without the use of dialogue.





During June and July 2010, the Hellenic Underwater Antiquities office and the Hellenic Institute of Marine Archaeology (HIMA), completed the first underwater surveys on a late Hellenic Period wreck off the Island of Stira.  During the survey period, the surface layer findings were documented using photogrametry methods, high resolution photomosaics of the site and two preliminary survey trenches.  What was found were Brindisi amphoras lifted from the wreck, pottery used for drinking or eating, a stone basin, copper iron nails, parts of the ships’ fittings, other pottery parts, two small copper statues, and two legs from a sleeperette.  Finally, wooden parts of the ship’s skeleton were revealed among the sand deposits.



Ancestral Delicatessen


In the region of El Bierzo, Spain, many people keep to the many aspects of the traditional way of life.  What is especially maintained is the work done on the land and the relationship with nature.  Some tasks are still being done by hand, so as to keep the ancient tradition alive and not to use machinery for menial tasks.  This is the case of harvesting chestnuts.  A famous confectionary product of France, Marrons glacés, is made from chestnuts.  In this film you will experience the traditional lifestyle of harvesting chestnuts within this region.



Ancient Computer


In 1900, a storm blew a boatload of sponge divers off course.  They took shelter by the Mediterranean island of Antikythera.  Diving the next day, they discovered a 2000 year-old Greek shipwreck and found what appeared to be an intricate mechanism.  X-ray studies confirmed that idea, but nothing else could be determined.  Recently, hi-tech imaging has revealed the truth: this unique clockwork machine was the world’s first computer.  An array of 30 intricate bronze gear wheels, originally housed in a shoebox-size wooden case, was designed to predict the dates of lunar and solar eclipses, track the Moon’s subtle motions through the sky, and calculate the dates of significant events such as the Olympic Games.



Ancient Knowledge: The Sacred Geometry behind British Stone Circles


This documentary presents new ways of performing experimental archaeology without causing damage to prehistoric sites.  This new technique of delivering experimental archaeology creates an excellent hands-on teaching tool that physically engages students with both the design and architecture of British prehistoric monuments.  The prehistoric monuments being studied are the stone circles that are widely distributed across Great Britain.



Angkor Rediscovered*


How did Angkor become the largest 13th Century city ever built?  Using the most sophisticated technologies in conjunction with research, archaeologists focused on statues, casts and documents handed down by Louis Delaporte to support findings.  Delaporte was one of the first explorers of Angkor in the 19th Century.  Researchers have been able to uncover how Khmer temples operated, the meaning of their architecture and how the capital of the Khmer Empire grew to become the largest city in the world at the end of the 13th Century.



Archaeological Atlas of Two Seas


The English Channel and southern North Sea forms one of the most important waterways in the world.  Between 2009 and 2012, an international team of French, English and Belgian maritime archaeologists work closely together in a difficult and often dangerous environment employing sophisticated techniques to uncover the secrets that still lie underwater.  The film looks at a medieval settlement covered by beach sands and an underwater landscape that dates back to the last Ice Age.  It also examines the tragic fate of numerous ships sunk during both world wars and highlights the groundbreaking work done as part of the A2S project in unveiling this common, European maritime heritage.



Archilochos’ Beloved Paros


This dramatized 67-minute documentary tells of the life and work of the poet, Archilochos.  From the island of Paros, this originator of contemporary poetry turned the attention of the individual to the universal idea of human passions and emotions and erotic desires.  The film includes a presentation of his poems read by many specialists and university professors.



At the Edge of the Volcano


Sunset Crater, a part of Arizona today, erupted over 900 years ago and covered the landscape in cinders and ash.  Volcanic activity has occurred over millions of years, but this time it was witnessed by humans.  This is the story of three national monuments that preserve the history of Sunset Crater Volcano and those who lived “at the edge of the volcano,” called the Sinagua people.  Discover the intriguing tale of resilience and skill of the Sinagua, who carved a civilization out of a desert wilderness.



The Bakhtiari Bride


The Bakhtiari people of southwestern Iran are traditionally migratory pastoralists speaking a dialect of the Farsi language.  In this film, a young Bakhtiari woman returns home to land of her upbringing and prepares for her wedding.  The film gives a thorough impression of Bakhtiari cutlure and illustrates the complex traditional matrimonial ritual that involves the entire community.



The Beginning of the End


In 1872, a small group of Modoc men, women, and children refused to be confined to a reservation.  They sought refuge in the area now known as the Lava Beds National Monument in northeastern California.  After keeping the US Army at bay all winter, in the spring of 1873, the Modoc’s leader, Captain Jack, shot and killed, General Edward Canby, the only US General killed in the so-called Indian Wars.  This film tells the epic story of the Modoc War and why so few know of it today.



Belize: Feb. 2008


This 50-minute documentary, directed by Hermann Hendrich, shows various Hoya archaeological sites in southern Belize.  Not much is known of the Hoyan culture, but this film seeks to shed light to this mystery.  The film does not use any narration and relies on the language of the images to capture the mysterious history of the Hoya.  This helps the viewer to catch remote and in-time moments of the lifestyle of those who lived in the various sites.



Betty’s Hope


The Caribbean island of Antigua sat at the crossroads of the first transatlantic economy.  This documentary is about how a sugar plantation, called Betty’s Hope, was started in 1650 during colonial rule and gave many Antiguans economic support.  This plantation was owned by Sir Christopher Codrington, the governor of the Leeward Islands, and lasted from 1674 to 1944.  Today, the plantation is no longer operational and archaeologists use meticulous methods to uncover stories that would otherwise be silent forever.



Beyond Death: The Tombs of Tarquinia Come to Life


With a combination of scientific accuracy and enjoyable narration, this documentary animates the lavish wall decorations in the main tombs of the Etruscan necropolis of Tarquinia in the Tuscany region of Italy.  Thanks to the innovative use of digital animation techniques, men, gods, animals, and mythical characters, frozen in still images for thousands of years, come to life to tell us of the customs, traditions and culture of the extraordinary Etruscan people.



The Bone Rush


“GoWest, young man!” was heard by courageous adventurers seeking fortune across the virgin land that spanned from the Great Plains to the Pacific Ocean.  They were gold-seekers, ranchers, merchants, and adventurers.  The legend of the West was born with them, and Hollywood would turn them into heroes!  Two unusual men heard that call.  They lived as pioneers, but their Eldorado wasn’t gold.  They dug in the earth to find bones: dinosaur bones.  These two pioneers waged a merciless war, often searching in incredible conditions.  Our two heroes would uncover close to 130 species and perfect dig techniques that are still used today.  We are indebted to them for the famous Diplodocus, Allosaurus, Triceratops, and T-Rex.



Building Pharaoh’s Chariot*


3,600 year-old reliefs in Egyptian tombs and temples depict pharaohs and warriors proudly riding into battle on horse-drawn chariots.  Some historians claim that the chariot launched a technological and strategic revolution.  But was the Egyptian chariot really a revolutionary design?  How decisive a role did it play in the bloody battles of the ancient world?  In Building Pharaoh’s Chariot, a team of archaeologists, engineers, woodworkers, and horse trainers join forces to build and test two highly accurate replicas of Egyptian royal chariots.  They discovered the use of advanced features, including spoked wheels, springs, shock absorbers, anti-roll bars, and a convex-shaped rear mirror, leading to the comparison of design to the engineering standards of the 1930s era Buicks!  By driving our pair of replicas to their limits in the desert outside Cairo, NOVA’s experts test the claim that the chariot marks a crucial turning point in ancient military history.



The Chairman and the Lions


As recently as forty years ago, most sections of the Maasai were semi-nomadic and relatively independent of the nation-state.  However, political, social and economic changes in east Africa have forced many herders to adopt a sedentary lifestyle.  Chairman Frank Ikoyo, the Maasai leader of a Tanzanian village, battles many lions that threaten his community along with “bush” lawyers, land grabbers, migration, and the general lack of education.  This film provides a glimpse into the current world of the Maasai.



Completing the Circle*


Completing the Circle symbolizes the completion of human migration around the world.  By being the first people to cross the North Atlantic and encounter indigenous people in North America, the Vikings closed the circle.  This film explores the following questions: Who were the Vikings, otherwise known as the Norse?  How and why did they end up at L’anse Aux Meadows?  What were they looking for?  Why camp at L’anse aux Meadows?  Where is Vinland?  Did they encounter indigenous peoples?  Why did they leave?  Why didn’t they stay longer?  What archaeological evidence remains of the Norse presence at L’anse aux Meadows?  How was the site discovered?  The video is not meant to give a full description of the historic site and it does not replicate the on-site experience.  Instead, it sets the context for the site and reveals the broader significance.



Contemplating the Mountain Funeral


Contemplating a Mountain Funeral combines a spoken story about a funeral in the Appalachian region of the United States with imagery shot in northern Iceland.  It gives the viewer an in-depth understanding of spiritual awareness, respect, the power of natural surroundings, and reflection of a life lived.  The contrast between sound and the image content give way slowly as the fog of the mountains fuses with the simple, yet mesmerizing, story of life, death and spirits that transcend.



Cyrus Jacobs- Uberuaga Archaeological Dig


The documentary tells of an excavation project conducted in downtown Boise, Idaho, in the summer of 2013.  The unexpected discovery of a well associated with one of the earliest homes in the city led to an archaeological excavation in the heart of downtown Boise.  The home was initially built by one of the town’s leading citizens, Cyrus Jacobs, but in later years became a Basque boarding house run by the Uberuaga family.  Today, the home is a museum managed by the Basque Museum and Cultural Center, an organization that showed remarkable foresight in engaging historical archaeologists as part of the preservation of the well.  This two-week excavation recovered almost 16,000 artifacts and attracted over 1,000 visitors to the site.



Dance of the Maize God*


Over the past 50 years, thousands of exquisitely painted Maya vases, almost all looted from tombs, have flooded into public and private collections.  These amazing works of art have opened an extraordinary window into the Maya past.  But the race to unearth these treasures has destroyed temples and palaces, culminating in the takeover of entire ancient cities by looter armies.  Dance of the Maize God enters the world of the vases to explore the royal life and rich mythology of the Maya, as well as the tangled issues involved in the collection and study of Maya art.  The story is told by villagers, looters, archaeologists, scholars, dealers, and curators. For each, these vases have a radically different value and meaning.



Dancing Salmon Home*


Dancing Salmon Home is an emotional journey of loss and reunification, across generations and oceans, as members of the Winnemem Wintu tribe of northern California travel to New Zealand to meet their long-lost Chinook salmon family relatives who were missing from their McCloud River homeland for 65 years.  Along the way, the 28 tribal members hold four days of ceremony beside New Zealand’s Rakaia River, forging enduring bonds with the Maori people of the region, sharing a message of respect for the natural world and launching plans to bring their salmon home.



Davis Bottom: Rare History, Valuable Lives*


Davis Bottom: Rare History, Valuable Lives reveals the fascinating history of a diverse, working-class neighborhood.  Davis Bottom, established in 1865, is one of about a dozen ethnic enclaves settled primarily by African-American families who migrated to Lexington from the 1860s to the 1890s in search of jobs, security and opportunity.  Davis Bottom, located in a narrow, swampy valley about a mile south of downtown Lexington, is named after Willard Davis, a land speculator and civil rights advocate who became the Attorney General for the State of Kansas.   Over the past 150 years, residents have made this small, tight-knit neighborhood a hidden model for racial diversity and community cohesion.  Today this enclave is facing a challenge with the construction of the Newtown Pike Extension, a roadway that has displaced many residents.  This part of history is now being documented as part of The Davis Bottom History Preservation Project.





This documentary film is about archaeological research in northeastern Iran, not far from Turkmenistan.  A farmer exploring large “hills” in his fields discovers a series of monumental and architectural features that turn out to be constructions dating to the Sassanian Empire, the last Persian Empire before the rise of Islam.  The sites is explored and excavated by archaeologists, who find many wonderful things, including a Zoroastrian temple with bas-relief sculpture and inscriptions.



Death of Dwarfs


Death of Dwarfs is an animation film based on an Arapaho Native legend.  This legend pertains to the termination of cannibalistic dwarfs, or the Hecesiiteihii, that existed long ago.  The name Hecesiiteihii translates to “little people” in Arapaho.  It is said that these people are particular enemies of the Arapaho tribe.  Many diverse stories describe these cannibalistic dwarves, but a common theme is that they appear to be the size of a small child, are aggressive and have dark complexions.  The legend has been re-written, animated and narrated to appeal to a modern audience.



Death Work


Darryl digs graves at a rural Midwestern cemetery established in 1863.  His daily tasks are common, routine and mostly unnoticed.  Taking care of the grounds where his community is laid to rest goes beyond weeding, raking and mowing the grass.  Watching over the cemetery grounds also means knowing how history flows through the ritual practices of burial.



Discovering Dave: Spirit Captured in Clay*


This documentary revolves around the story of the Edgefield, South Carolina, slave potter named David Drake.  David, who used his skills as a craftsman, created beautiful pottery, which included jars and pitchers, during the turbulent 1800s.  While producing thousands of pots in his lifetime, David also wrote poetry.  He was one of the first African-American slaves to sign many of his works.  His story is a testament to his willingness to be heard and to leave his mark for ages to come, even at risk of severe punishment.



Djulirri: An Aboriginal Library of Encounter & Experience


Ronald Lamilami is a senior Maung language traditional owner of part of Arnhem Land’s Wellington Range, NT, Australia.  Djulirri is the most significant rock art site within his clan estate.  The site contains over 3,000 rock paintings, stencils and figures made of beeswax.  Djulirri’s rock art is an impressive archive of history, experience and belief that also documents some of the changing forms of contact with Asians and Europeans in recent times.  Ronald and his archaeological colleagues explore Djulirri’s incredible rock art through a cross-cultural journey across time and space.



The Etruscans’ Frontier


Landings, settlements, battles, and deportations have shed light on a piece of the history of Salerno Province, Italy, that today is not so obviouis.  The town of Pontecagnano has its place in the fascinating pages of Etruscan history.  A center open to cultural exchanges in ancient times, Pontecagnano in the millennia has changed its dimensions and look.  Our Etruria was an emporium for lively exchanges and contacts made through Pontecagnano’s port.  The town grew even before the fame of the nearby Hyppocratica Civitas, one of the first medical schools of Europe.  People came to settle on the fruitful plain of Pontecagnano.  To meet them in the archaeological museum is a fascinating journey.



Euphronios Illustrates the Trojan War


This film dramatizes the mixed fortunes of the Trojan War, told through the images painted on two exquisite examples of Attic pottery conserved in the Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia in Rome.  The two pieces are the red figure krater and the kylix signed by the painter Euphronios.  Thanks to the techniques of digital animation, the painted figures come to life and the complicated plot of war and thwarted love unravels: from the abduction of Helen and the rape of Cassandra to the insult of Achilles and the sacrifice of the hero Sarpedon; from the shrewdness of Achilles to the death of King Priam and the fall of Troy.



Eusak Jaiak: Celebrating Basque Culture


For the last 50 years, Basque families across the American West have gathered in Elko, Nevada, on the Fourth of July weekend to celebrate their culture.  Filmed throughout the three-day 2013 National Basque Festival, Euskal Jaiak: Celebrating Basque Culture offers a panoramic view of this multi-faceted event featuring music, dancing, traditional foods, and competitions in weightlifting, log splitting and chorizo-making.



Exploring the Submerged New World


While many people pore over archives to find evidence of their ancestors, two university scientists are instead exploring a 15,000 year old landscape that now lies deep underwater off the coast of Florida.  The team is pitted against the vagaries of Mother Nature, modern mechanical systems pushed to their limits, coping with funding cuts, and exploration in inhospitable environment.  If successful, they could be the first using systematic archaeological methods to discover submerged evidence of the early Western Hemisphere humans.  The team’s findings add fresh compelling data to the study of ancient humans in North America and hold great promise for future discoveries and the creation of new scientific standards in underwater archaeological methods.



Forward (Adelante)


Forward (Adelante) invites the audience into St. Patrick’s church outside of Philadelphia, where Mexican newcomers are revitalizing a dying Irish-Catholic church.  The sounds of the children giggling have returned to the pews and mariachis join bagpipers in celebration of major events.  Focused on a priest and a young Mexican couple, we learn how this shift has brought new challenges and energy to this old parish.



Framing the Other*


The Mursi tribe resides in the basin of the Omo River, in the east African state of Ethiopia.  Mursi women are known for placing large plates in their lower lips and wearing enormous, richly decorated earrings, which have become a subject of tourist attraction in recent years.  Each year, hundreds of Western tourists come to see the unusually adorned natives, so that posing for camera-toting visitors has become the main source of income for the Mursi.  To make more money, they embellish their “costumes” and finery to appear more exotic to the outsiders.  However, by exaggerating their habits and lifestyle in such a manner, they are beginning to disintegrate their traditional culture.  This film portrays the complex relationship between tourism and indigenous communities by revealing the intimate and intriguing thoughts of a Mursi woman from southern Ethiopia and a Dutch tourist as they prepare to meet each other.  This humorous, yet simultaneously chilling, film shows the destructive impact tourism has on traditional communities.



Funeral Season


Director Matthew Lancit quits his day job to travel across Cameroon in Africa visiting some of the world’s most joyous funeral celebrations.  Throughout his excursion in the foreign countryside, Lancit is taken with the locals’ belief that the dead are still roaming the Earth.  This leads Lancit to experience what might be a spiritual connection with his own ancestors.  Ultimately, Lancit learns about an altogether new way to celebrate the dead, their memory and the ways in which they still affect and even interact in our lives.



Gavr’inis: Sacred Mountain


A passage tomb containing priceless art on the tiny island of Gavrinis, on the coast of Brittany, France, came to the world’s attention in 1832.  In 1885, this island was excavated by Dr. Closmadeuc and followed up by Zechariah Rouzic.  This famous megalithic monument was constructed over many years with many changes.  It was completed in 3,400 B.C.  This film, by Francois Cerf, seeks to uncover the mystery of this tiny island and unravel the hidden story of the people who built the monument.



Great Barrows (Didi Korganchi)


Barrows founded in the Caucasus are still the object of archaeological and scientific studies which, even now, cannot answer the question: who established this mysterious culture?  What can be studied is the history.  Barrows share a commonality with Egyptian pyramids in that these sites are the same age.  It was also found that barrows were noblemen’s sepulchres.  The mystery of the barrows culture is uncovered within this documentary, which explores this mysterious 4,500 year old culture.



Ground London


Ground London is an experimental documentary that explores London at the intersections of three types of geography: urban, cultural and psycho-geography.  This point-of-view locked in photography never gets more than three inches off the ground and uses heavy manipulation of sound and image to expose a city seldom examined, a city that moves poetically and with great order when observed slowly in minute detail.  But there is another London, one created by geo-urban spaces themselves and the ways that people interact with those spaces.  This film gets down on ground level to present you with a new perspective on one of the world’ most photographed urban landscapes and the people who live and travel there.



Happy Birthday


Happy Birthday is an animated vision about the duel between the Bible hero Jesus and a man-made robot.  Does the robot manage to break the formed dogmas and convert the religion into his concept or will the status quo remain firm?  The documentary, directed by Riho Unt, uses the animation technique of a puppet and follows the duel that ensues.  The question remains: who wins this duel?  The only way to find out is to view this documentary.



Have You Seen the Arana?


In a world that has grown more dynamic and uncertain, where diversity and differences make way for standardization and uniformity, this film explores the effects of a rapidly changing landscape of livelihoods in Wayanad, India.  A woman’s concern over the disappearance of medicinal plants from the forest, a farmer’s commitment to growing traditional varieties of organic rice and a cash crop cultivator’s struggle to survive amidst farmer’s suicides offer fresh insights into shifting relations among people, knowledge systems and environment.  The film takes you on a journey through a region witnessing a drastic transformation in the name of “development,” and reminds us that this diversity could disappear forever and be replaced by unsustainable alternatives.



Helter Shelter: A Backyard Time Capsule in the Shadow of the Bomb Plant


This film explores a recently rediscovered Cold War-era family fallout shelter located in the backyard of a single-family home in Aiken County, South Carolina.  Originally constructed in the late 1950s by an engineer employed 15 miles away at a secret government weapons facility, locally known as the “Bomb Plant,”this four-person underground bunker reveals the rampant local and nationwide fears of a devastating nuclear attack.  Carefully supplemented with contextual photographs, radio spots and video footage from the times in which the shelter was constructed, Helter Shelter takes the viewer 12 feet below the surface as this soggy mid-20th Century time capsule is unsealed, explored and excavated.



Horse Creek Valley: A tale Worth the Telling


Horse Creek emerges near the boundary line between Edgefield and Aiken counties in South Carolina.  The creek spans almost 24 miles of rocks, islands of sand, mill ponds, and the valley it has been carving for millennia.  Finally, after a descent of approximately 480 feet, it concludes its local wanderings to meet the wide Savannah River and continue its journey to join the Atlantic.  The film weaves together an intricate story of the ever-evolving spirit shaped by its people, its wars, its agriculture, and its industry.  It makes stops in time to introduce some individuals and the events that influenced the area and continues to build on its original foundations to shape the story of its future.



Hunting the Mountain Picassos: On the Track of Basque Arborglyphs


For more than half-a-century, Jean and Phillip Earl of Reno, Nevada, have used clues from old maps, letters and books to hunt for and document “Mountain Picassos.”  These distinctive figures are carved into aspen trees found in the high country meadows of the Great Basin.  These figures, along with names, dates and sayings, were carved by Basque sheepherders in the early to mid-20th Century.  The Earls evolved a unique method of preserving the carvings using canvas and artists’ wax to create rubbings that are two-dimensional representations of the carvings that are works of art themselves.



I Am From Ithaca


The film introduces the discovery of unearthed ruins of Odysseus’ Palace by an archaeological team from the University of Ioannina in Greece.  The site is believed to be a large Myceneaean palatial building complex occupying two levels.  A stairway cut into the solid bedrock of the hill provided easy access.  Other findings include a funerary enclosure, a large circular structure whose purpose is unknown, several storerooms and workshops, a sophisticated drainage system, and an underground cistern.  The complex is believed to be dated around 1300 B.C.  Regretably, the excavations are currently on hold because of the lack of funding from the Greek government.



Immaculate Church of Palermo Unveiled


In the district of the Capo Palermo, Sicily, the Church of the Immaculate Conception is a captivating baroque jeweled building erected by the Society of Jesus.  This stunning church is revealed to the viewer as a close-up experience and is part of the “Sicily Unveiled” documentary series by Jean Paul Barreaud and Gabriele Gismondi.  This film it supported by the Sicilian Tourism Department and Sicilia Film Commission.



Into the Stones  (Nella Pietre)


Into the Stones is set in the archaeological sites of Sperlonga and Minturno.  This short film tries to show a fragment of loneliness and self-confusion.  One experience by the young female character recalls some memories and suggestions of a former lost love.  Along with those ancient and precious stones, she starts remembering her ancient and precious emotions.  In the end, she is defeated by them and melts down with them.  These stones have become a sort of allegory.  It helps to recall the past and becomes a place for her soul.  The philosophy of the whole project is that the historical path of an entire society could reflect the subjective history of human life.



An Island Came to Light


This documentary by Yannis Tritsibidas digs deep into the revelation of the Anaphe and Theras islands in Argonautica, the epic poem written by Apollonius of Rhodes.  The story follows the Argonauts sailing quickly over the Cretan Sea while they were unaware of their surroundings.  One of the sailors, Jason, sought the help of Phoebus and in the morning saw a tiny island on which they stayed.  He named the island Anaphe and later the name changed to Thera, after Theras, the son of Autesion.



Isle of Princes*


The film follows archaeologists in a discovery story of a mysterious island on Lake Lednickie in central Poland.  Archaeologists located a royal residence established in the mid-Tenth Century by Prince Miezko I of the House of Piast, ruler of the original Polish principality.  In 966, Miezko converted to Christianity.  A body of evidence indicates that the ceremony for his baptism and the official adoption of Christianity in his realm took place in the royal chapel on Ostrow Lednicki Island.  Later, his son Boleslaus the Brave, first king of Poland, made Ostrow Lednicki a favorite residence.  The island’s grandeur perished in a dramatic attack by a hostile force, because of which it managed to keep its secrets undisclosed until today.  The archaeologists’ virtual reconstruction of the island stronghold and re-enactments in this film present the story of life and the events that happened here over a thousand years ago.



Jane - Starvation, Cannibalism, and Endurance at Jamestown


In 2012, archaeologists excavating the 1607 fort at Jamestown Virginia, came across a startling discovery.  Buried in a cellar were the partial skeletal remains of a young English woman.  Forensic analysis of her bones revealed that she was cannibalized.  While we may never know her true identity, we have named the young woman Jane.  Follow the archaeologists and forensic scientists as they unravel Jane’s story.



Kamal Al Molk


This documentary film is about the life, works and students of the famous Iranian painter Kamal Al Molk, whose given name was Mohammad Ghaffari.  Born in 1848 to a family steeped in traditional Iranian art, this man grew up in a house that, amazingly, still stands and still features charcoal sketches drawn by him as a child.  He became a favorite of the Shah of Iran and painted some of his best-known works while at court.  Later, he came under the influence of European artists and founded a highly regarded art school in Tehran.



Ki Na Sumoowakwatatu: Never to be Forgotten


The first encounter between the Paiute tribe of Nevada and white settlers happened 140 years ago.  This film follows the history of the Paiute people through two wars, forceful assimilation and violation of basic human rights.  Because of these events, traditions are buried and the language is almost lost.  Ralph Burns, a tribal elder, tells his story of strong native beliefs and bringing back his dying language.  Sam Harry, a high school student and tribal member, has many interests outside the reservation.  This film reflects how people interact with the outside world and communicate their ideas within the community, and how aesthetic, cultural, economic, personal, political, and social knowledge is formed.



La Candelaria


In 1953, one of the first and most revealing archaeological expeditions in the Mexican desert took place at the mortuary cave of La Candelaria.  In pre-Hispanic times, nomadic groups of the Comarca Laguneria in the Chihuahua Desert deposited the dead there, carefully wrapped as mortuary bundles together with a large number of different objects and utensils.  They believed that caves were sacred sites because they seemed to be the way to enter supernatural places.  The documentary explores several aspects about the “desert culture,” the everyday life of the hunters, the gathering of peoples and their rituals.



Land of Neanderthals


We venture on the trail into France’s distant past asking, “who were the Neanderthals?”  The answer, in part, lies entangled in the ancient hinterlands of Neanderthal territories.  In those territories, numerous caves conceal Neanderthal debris, including their discarded flint tools.  Petrological analysis of those flints fingerprint the provenance sites of these tools to specific outcrops within the landscape.  Through this, we now understand where Neanderthals went through the land. Rob Hope follows the trail in a quest to understanding these enigmatic nomads and meets with specialists J. P. Raynat, M. H. Moncel, Camille Daujeard, and J. Combier of France’s CNRS research department, as well as Svante Paabo of the of the Max Planck Institute and A. Defleur.



The Last Farmer-cum-Prehistorian


This is a film shot “up on top” and “down below” – on a farm and in a cave in the Perigord Noir region of southwestern France.  It is about the magical appeal of prehistory, the sheer physical pleasure of going deep into the underground world and discovering paintings, drawings and treasure from the imaginary world of those humans we once were – when mammoths were legion.  The film is a portrayal of Gilbert Pemendrant, the owner of the seventh painted cave to be found in the world: Bernifal Cave in Dordogne, France.



The Last Trip of the Knife Grider


“Queicoa,” in Barallete, the jargon of Galician knife-grinders means, “god, hero, fighting spirit, a great, legendary being.”  For over three centuries now, these old knife grinders, who became famous after walking so many paths and thousands of miles, have been called “Queicoas.”  They were brave and tough men, hardened by working the fields of one of the poorest areas in Europe.  Emerging from Galician mountains of northwestern Spain, in a trip that seemed to lead nowhere, they were only accompanied by a spinning wheel.  When they walked, they were dreaming.  When they ground, they felt alive.  When they stopped, they were defeated.  This is their story and these are their faces.



Layers of Pompeii


Layers of Pompeii is a documentary addressing the range of interests and interpretations of both the ancient and modern cities of Pompeii, Italy.  The film is concerned less with the eruption of A.D. 79 and more with the contemporary inhabitants of the archaeological site and those living in the adjacent modern city that supports a tourist industry of 10,000 visitors a day.  The juxtaposition of ancient and modern, the archaeological and the touristic, addresses the role that archaeology can play in contemporary society.  Unearthing the perspectives and desires of modern Pompeiians and placing these alongside those of the archaeologists creates a dynamic representation of a variety of meanings that Pompeii inspires.



A Life Without Words


What would life be like without language?  For many deaf individuals raised in rural outposts, access to a sign-language community is denied.  Such injustice deserves our attention and is examined with care in this haunting, yet beautiful, story of two deaf siblings and their family on a northern Nicaragua farm.  When Tomasa visits Dulce Maria and Francisco, the two begin their awakening to language.  Their resistance is clear but so is their surprise at their teacher and the learning process.  As we enter their isolated world, uncomfortable questions about education, psychology, language, ethics, and class arise.  This film avoids hard and fast answers and, instead, is a quiet exploration of those challenging questions.



Lion Tomb


When a man of the Bakhtiari Lurs, a community in Iran’s Zagros Mountains, passes, he can have the incredible honor of having his family place a  Bardshir (Lion Tomb) totem on his grave.  Symbolizing the valor, courage and lionhearted characteristics of the deceased man, these totems have no regard for social class but instead focus on a man’s social output in his society.  This tradition faltered after the defeat of the Bakhitari people in 1929, only to be brought back in 2000.  Some Bakhtiari people resumed this tradition, proceeding to place “Bardshir” on the graves of men.  These new “Bardshir” bear little relation to the historical traditions of the Bakhtiari, but are not completely foreign to them.



The Longobards in Italy


This documentary illustrates the profound transformation that took place in Italy during Lombard rule from A.D. 568 to 774.  These include the refined stucco works of Cividale del Friuli temple, fascinating frescoes decorating the church of Santa Maria Foris Portas at Castelseprio, a new urban development that changed the features of Brescia, a fascination with classical antiquity in the temple of Campello sul Clitunno, the skillful architectural styles in the church of San Salvatore at Spoleto, the echoes of the Byzantine world in Santa Sofia church at Benevento, and the rise of the ancient cult of St. Michael at Monte Sant’Angelo.



Looking for a Face


In the year A.D. 683, K’inich Janaab Pakal died, a kind and sacred light that brightened the city of Palenque for 68 years.  He began a dynasty that nourished a nation with beauty.  Twelve centuries later, an archaeologist and his team discovered Pakal’s tomb inside a pyramid.  They began to reveal the character of the king.  At the beginning of the 21st Century, two women reconstructed the funerary mask of King Pakal, revealing delicate craftsmanship and displaying the face of the emperor.



Lost Nation: The Ioway 2*


Lost Nation: the Ioway 2 tells of the time when the Ioway were forcibly removed from their ancestral homelands to a reservation in Kansas.  Ioway leader, White Cloud (the Younger), believed the move would ensure survival for his people.  However, broken treaties, land loss, the end of communal living, and attempts to diminish their unique language and culture led to the establishment of a second Ioway Tribe and their own “trail of tears.”  The film features archaeological sites located in the Midwest with connections to the Ioway and their ancestors, the Oneota.



Lost Nation: The Ioway 3


As two separate Nations, the Ioway entered the 20th Century amid many American Indian policies aimed at Native American assimilation.  From the Ghost Dance and its beliefs to the American Indian Movement, the Ioway experienced cultural disintegration and rebirth.  Successful land claims in the 1970s propelled both tribes toward greater self-determination and a revival of time-honored Native traditions.  The film features archaeological sites located in the Midwest related to the Ioway and their ancestors, the Oneota.



The Lost Village: The Dark Side


Seven years later . . . In an inhospitable place immersed in the marshy sands, surrounded by the light and murmurs of the forest, there is a village pledging every day and devoting itself to the sole aim of protecting, watching over and the worshiping the statue of the Blessed Virgin.  This sole devotion begins and also ends their lives.  The Lost Village: The Dark Side tries to show the complex mix of feelings and passions around this particular relationship forged generation after generation.



Ma’anda Ma’anda


Ma’anda is mixed race child born in France.  Her great-great-grandmother and namesake, Ma’anda, has always lived in Cameroon.  Will the little girl’s Cameroonian mother, Beatrice, and French father, Cedric, be able to pass down her forbear’s values, although they live far away from her world?  From their daily lives in northeastern France to a trip to the “home country,” the film accompanies young Ma’anda and her family in this quest that is so relevant in today’s world.





India is undergoing a retail revolution in which the aspiring middle class is demanding more western goods and services.  Modern malls are muscling into the traditional marketplace, pushing India’s economic infrastructure to the limits and threatening to put thousands of bazaar owners and small farmers out of business.  This documentary intimately portrays the challenges facing India’s rising middle class and the burgeoning retail sector  and looks at the impact of globalism through the lens of a nation trying to balance local consumer demand and foreign interests.



A Manila Galleon


The Manila Galleon or Nao in Chinese were the names given to the vessels that, for more than 250 years, sailed the route that connected New Spain with Asia by way of the Philippines.  Several of these galleons were shipwrecked and, although something is known about the whereabouts of a few, others disappeared without leaving a trace.  This documentary focuses on the work carried out by archaeologists as they search for one of these missing galleons from the Sixteenth Century.  By retrieving and studying vestiges of its cargo and fragments of the ship itself in the dunes along the coast of Baja, California, a field team begins to unravel the mystery of this voyage that never reached Acapulco.



Mayan Archaeology in Caracol, Belize


This film is an introduction to Maya archaeology as explored in the jungle ruins of Caracol, Belize.  Documenting the day-to-day activities of “The Caracol Project,” sponsored by the University of Celtral Florida and directed by Drs. Diane and Arlene Chase, the film hopes to capture the experience of its student participants.  Part primer and part impressionistic survey, it attempts to give the viewer a sense of what it’s like to live in the field and practice “dirt” archaeology.



Millennial Peru*


Four thousand years before the Incas and the arrival of the Conquistadors, the Andes and the northern coast were the cradle of Peru’s earliest civilizations.  This is known as the Formative Period, when the religious class began to build sanctuaries that became centers of learning.   People traveled long distances to visit in search of knowledge of the best seasons to plant their crops or when to expect the arrival of the El Niño weather phenomenon.  The Chavín, Caral, Ventarrón, Sechin, and Cupisnique cultures reached surprising levels of technological development, with works like the Cumbemayo canals of the Cajamarca culture, which is the largest work of hydrological engineering carried out in the ancient Americas.  Millennial Peru journeys back through the most ancient periods of Peru’s complex societies.



Millets Back Home


Grandmother Ya-boon is the eldest in the Sq-Yaw Village.  This is the farthest and highest place in Taichung city, Taiwan.  The story starts with Grandmother Ya-boon, who is sowing millet in the way she remembers and in the process recovering her traditional culture.  The audience sees three different families in the village weaving a touching story about pulling each other constantly to the social reality of “home” and “the loss of traditional culture,” that plays out in real life.



Moving of the Nakhl


This film captures the pageantry and passion of the annual processional that takes place in the Iranian city of Yazd on the day of Ashura, the tenth day of the Islamic month of Muharram and a day of mourning for the martyrdom of Husayn Ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad, at the Battle of Karbala.  On this day observed in Shiite Muslim countries, the people of Yazd, Iran, carry a nakhl, an artistic representation of the bier on which the body of Imam Husayn was carried from the battlefield to his resting place.  These are often colossal wooden structures requiring many men to carry them and richly decorated with daggers, swords, luxurious fabrics, and mirrors.





The Vaccaei, a pre-Roman Celtic people of Spain, practiced several funerary rites.  These funerary rites differed depending on the category or level of social standing of the deceased.  These rites are shown in the conclusions from the archaeological excavations in Pintia, Padilla de Duero, and Valladolid, Spain.  Three stories about life and death are presented in this film, which is an animated student project using Playmobil toys.  The Pintia Program 2.0 is a multi-disciplinary group formed by fourteen students of the second year of Bachillerato at Safa-Grial High School in Valladolid.  Our research is based in the discoveries found in Pintia and a set of varied activities identified with the Vaccaei culture.



The One and the Many


The Nath Yogis of northern India, in their search for the One amongst the many, believe only a true guru can guide them through the paradoxes of human life in their search for a center where nothing must exist.  This anthropological documentary film offers an in-depth look at the Tantrik, Aghori, holy seekers of northern India, who are the disciples of the great Guru Garakh Nath.  Following his journey of discovery in “The Lover and the Beloved,” Rajive McMullen goes deeper into Tantra presenting his own guru’s story.



People of the Lakes


The lakeside or bog settlements in the Alpine region count among the most important archaeological cultural assets in Europe.  This serial property of 111 small individual sites encompasses the remains of prehistoric pile-dwellings or stilt house settlements in and around the Alps built from around 5,000 to 500 B.C. on the edges of lakes, rivers or wetlands.  Excavations, only conducted in some of the sites, have yielded evidence that provide insights into life in prehistoric times during the Neolithic and Bronze Age in Switzerland, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and Slovenia.   Here we illustrate the story of the Lake Garda region (Italy) pile dwellings through the voice of the people working on the sites.



Peoples of the Ring*

In 2000, Yvan Pallier, a young French archaeologists, found several 5000 year old marble rings in Brittany, France.  These rings bear a strange resemblance to the talismans worn by the Tuareg of Mali until the 20th Century for protection and prosperity.  Pallier started looking for the manufacturers of these bracelets made of African marble in the village of Hombori.  Tontoni Meikouba, one of the last sculptors, opens up his workshop for him and shares trade secrets.  He tells him about the commercial route these rings take through the Sahara and the Sahel.  The bracelets are made by the Songhai ethnic group to which Meikouba belongs.  The stones are extracted in outdoor marble quarries thought to be sacred.  According to animists, the sculptors are still sacrificing hens and sheep in these quarries as a token of gratitude to the rocks.  These talismans used to be worn by Bozo fisherman, convinced that it would strengthen their harpoons.



Poide: Silent Witness


Proud and solitary, it stands in the remote southeastern corner of the Estonian island of Saaremaa: tired, yet photogenic; monumental, yet refined down to the last detail.  A forgotten national treasure.  We are in Poide, a starting point of tangible history in Estonian architecture. Here stands one of the oldest churches in Estonia.  The church has seen better and worse days and is shrouded in mystery that continues to puzzle the experts.  While seeking to solve these riddles, the historians and film makers fall in love with their 800 year old heroine and the result is a film presenting Poide through different eyes.



Poop on Poverty


For a week every winter, a small Indian town, on the edge of the Thar Desert, hosts the world’s biggest camel fair that attracts tourists and camera teams from around the world.  However, beyond the exotica of one of the most filmed and photographed places in the world, lies the harsh reality of some of the local people who use the same week to address one of the most fundamental needs of their lives.  This short film highlights an issue that concerns over 2.5 billion people on our planet.



Pottersville: Home of Alkaline Glazed Stoneware


Experience archaeology with the University of Illinois as they excavate an industrial pottery kiln that began operation in the early 1800s producing the “tupperware” of the time, a commodity without which plantation life in the Edgefield District of South Carolina could not have thrived.  With over 13,000 enslaved Africans in the Edgefield district, storage vessels for pork, beans, okra, and other staples were essential to plantation life in the days before refrigeration.  The expedition began with an assumption of the kiln’s design and scale.  What they found was startling.



Perahu With a Silent Soul*


Only a small number of traditional boatmen are still carrying out their craft of building Perahus on a small island called Pulau Duyong, or Mermaid Island.  This island sits in an estuary in the Sungai Terengganu River in Malaysia.  Through boatmen eyes, we will explore the delicate work of traditional boat making that has been overtaken by the development of modernization.  This kind of boat making is done by memory and has been passed down for centuries from master craftsmen to their apprentices; there are no blueprints.  It is here where many tourists travel to see this art being created in the absence of modern technology.  But how much longer will the tradition survive?



Prehistoric Geometry in Britain


This documentary features the extraordinary accuracy and vast scale of the geometry understood and surveyed in very ancient times in Britain on a vast scale, using such properties as the isosceles and Pythagorean triangles, 2,500 years before recognition by ancient Greeks.  An accomplishment at this level of understanding and practical ability would have been beyond the ancient British under post Ice-Age conditions without some form of extraterrestrial involvement.  This feature hopes to provide the first believable evidence of such likely assistance.



The Pyramids: The Story of Creation


This documentary opens up a new visual window that rediscovers the beauty and mystery of ancient Egypt with its lingering wonders of masonry and myth.  The Pyramids starts with the picturesque re-dramatization, from the ceiling relief of Dendera temple, of the myth of the perpetual rebirth of the sun out of the womb of Nut and the sky lady who devours the sun disk every day at sunset.  The theme of the pyramids is preceded by excerpts from the Egyptian myth of creation and and addresses why those colossal buildings of masonry were built.  This film uses no narration.  It uses only the language of images and music to communicate visually and intellectually with the viewers.



The Road to Petra


This is a 60-minute film produced to mark the bicentenary of the rediscovery of Petra by Johann Ludwig Burkhardt, the Swiss traveller who in 1812 visited the extraordinary site in the heart of Jordan after it had fallen into oblivion for centuries.  Alberto Castellani and his troupe have been in Saudi Arabia following an invitation by the Saudi Ministry for Tourism and Culture, to film the archaeological site of Madain Saleh, known as the Petra of Saudi Arabia.  One of the most isolated outposts of the Arabian desert, the site was the southernmost settlement of the Kingdom of Nabataea.  This shows that the kingdom’s commercial interests did not hinge exclusively around its capital.



Roman Time Capsule


This documentary explores the depths of an ancient Roman vessel.  This vessel opens a window to the past and the life it had.  For two thousand years, this Roman cargo ship lay silent at the bottom of the Mediterranean.  Today, a team of high-tech divers uncovers a treasure of historical significance.  Follow these divers on an adventure that uncovers the use of the vessel and other mysteries that lie at the bottom of the ocean.



The Royal Press*


Ee Soon Wei is a young man with a mission to save his family’s heritage, and coincidentally one of Malaysia’s oldest printing establishments, The Royal Press.  Coming from a family of publishers and pressers, Soon Wei has never really been interested in his family’s origins.  Only after returning to his hometown and stepping onto the dark, dusty wooden floors of The Royal Press, founded by his grandfather seven decades ago, has he felt the re-connection to his past.   But the printing press is now facing a losing battle with the more modern and profitable printing shops and is on the brink of closing down.  Set in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Malacca, this story follows Soo Wei on his quest to save The Royal Press and to give it a 21st Century future by transforming it into Malaysia’s first printing press living museum.



Sacred Shadows of Time


In 2005, a 12-month solar calendar, using rock art images and shadows cast by two boulders protruding from the cliff face, was discovered at the V Bar V Heritage Site southeast of Sedona, Arizona.  It is estimated that it was created in the 10th or 11th Century by the Sinagua Culture of the Verde Valley of Central Arizona.  The unanswered question was whether the boulders were natural features or manipulated by the Sinagua to enhance their effects.  In 2011, an archaeological research permit was issued permitting 20 feet of scaffolding to be erected to closely examine the boulders.  This documentary captures this research and presents the amazing findings.



Scent of Juniper


Scent of Juniper is a documentary of the real life story of a Tibetan exile folk artist, Tsering Dorjee, living in the San Francisco Bay area.  His initiative is to pass down centuries-old Tibetan literature and performing arts that is being erased to Tibetan younger generations.  He does this through the community’s Sunday school and the school’s annual day event, which serves the younger generation who were born and raised in the US.  Not many kids are willing to learn Tibetan literature and performing arts nowadays.  The school’s annual day attracts a large Tibetan audience in the area and serves as an important platform to attract newer kids to the school.



Searching for the Truth*


Beneath the Medieval city of Narni, an Umbrian town in central Italy, a  young team of cavers discovers a series of mysterious underground rooms dating to the Holy Inquisition.  They began a thirty year quest for the truth behind the underground rooms and the meaning of a complex sequence of graffiti that was applied to the walls by an enigmatic prisoner in 1759.  A series of chance encounters and coincidences illuminates a trail of stolen documents, secret archives and an archaeological quest to reconstruct a page deleted from history.



The Shaman’s Dream


There are two views of the world.  The prehistoric man’s view, which is that of a shaman, and the scientific view.  Both have a different relation with nature, but they have a lot in common.  When we change our mental scheme and see the world divided between reality and dreams, it changes the outlook and perception of what is real.  What belongs to one or the other is the differences of dimensions.  It is not easy to distinguish between these dimensional trademarks.



Smokin’ Fish*


Cory Mann is a quirky Tlingit businessman hustling to make a dollar in Juneau, Alaska.  Each year, he puts his business on hold and spends a summer smoking salmon at his family’s traditional fish camp.  Here, the film weaves together Mann’s unique personal history, the largely untold history of his people and his effort to maintain a connection to Native American traditions while balancing the demands of modern-day life.  A playful exploration of Native American identity, Smokin’ Fish chronicles one man’s attempts to navigate the collision between the modern world and an ancient culture.



Soil Water Fire


This experimental film is a poetic documentary about the creation of man.  Using images filmed in the southeastern Iranian province of Baluchistan, this film features beautiful landscapes and a captivating musical soundtrack.  The imagery involves clay drawn from mud springs and applied to human bodies as well as used as the raw material for making ceramic vessels.



Someone You Know


Across colleges and universities, women are being sexually assaulted and are then blamed for it.  Their stories have been silent for too long.  On average, 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted on college campuses and in the surrounding community.  Furthermore, stranger rape is definitely a myth.  This documentary sheds light on the troubling realities of sexual assault and brings them out into the open.



Somerset Levels & Moors - 8000 Years


From King Arthur and the Isle of Avalon to the incredibly preserved remains of prehistoric trackways and lake villages, the Somerset Levels and Moors in southwest England has a rich and varied heritage.  This film provides a short introduction to the story of this unique wetland and its inhabitants.  It tells some of the stories around Glastonbury, Alfred and Athelney and describes how people have adapted to living and working in this special landscape.  Experience these stories and dive deeper into the past.



Spiritual Warriors


Unsettled in his past mistakes, Jesus seeks to know more about his Way-shower and mentor John-Roger.  He goes on a journey to search and understand more about his hero’s life and what he must do to achieve his destiny.  During his quest, he finds his true self.  His path takes him to Egypt, a land full of ancient traditions and mystery, in order to find himself and the answers he desperately wants to his questions.



Stori Tumbuna: Ancestors’ Tales*


Stori Tumbuna: Ancestors’ Tales was conceived as an opportunity for the Lak of New Ireland, a large island in Papua New Guinea, to tell their stories in their way.  In the words of filmmaker Paul Wolffram, “It’s a story of how I came to know the people of the region and how my story became forever woven into their own....  I was to become enmeshed in events that resulted in bloodshed and death.  What’s more, I was held responsible.”  The film was shot over several years and takes its structure from the traditional mythologies of the region.  Unlike most films based on the lives of traditional communities that are told from the point of view of an outsider, this film adopts indigenous narrative structures and presents a collaborative account that privileges local points of view and the Lak ethos.



The Story of the Arabian Nights*


The Thousand and One Nights is a book of the strange and marvelous.  It tells of genies, good and bad; animals with the gift of human speech; magicians commanding evil powers; and fire-worshiping alchemists.  Of  magic carpets, talismans, and spells; bird-women and trees with human heads; snake queens and rocs, the giant birds with holy eggs; and a magical island and uncrossable seas.  These fantastic creatures inhabiting enchanted places produce a powerful imaginary force and a truly spectacular vision, while other characters engage in the most ordinary, everyday forms of human behavior.  In this film we see how this collection of tales began long ago in the mouths of Indian storytellers and accumulated through centuries and across many lands until they were published for delighted readers in Europe.



Tara . . . The Journey of Love and Passion


In the village of Tanda, a village girl seems to be content with her confined life.  However, when her seemingly mundane existence parts ways to reveal the unspoken realities of exploitation and darkness enveloping the village, she leads the villagers in their quest for survival.  At the same time, she realizes that she may not be prepared to fight against prejudice.  Based on disturbingly common realities of Indian villages, this powerful story of self discovery transcends the original theme of tribal strife to answer the question, “Can you always chose freedom and self respect over social acceptance?”



Ted’s Things and Tipi Rings


As a Lakota woman, I felt that Ted’s devotion to the preservation of the tipi rings, ceremonial  rings and human effigy should be honored.  This creates a cultural bridge between the Lakota and Ted, a Scottish Canadian.  The ceremonial ring was a half mile from his isolated farm house.  It wasn’t until he was crop spraying that he realized how significant this site truly was.  This documentary helps to uncover the history of this historical site.





This documentary by Alan J. Bullock studies the Zoo Hypothesis.  The hypothesis responds to the question posed by Enrico Fermi, “Where is everybody?  Is there extraterrestrial life?”  These questions are within the Fermi Paradox.  Other responses to this paradox have included that extraterrestrial life could accidentally destroy us and that they wish not to disturb us, among other things.  Many professionals come together to talk about this mystery and seek to prove some form of extraterrestrial existence.




For thousands of years, stunning petroglyphs on the volcanic tablelands near Bishop, California, shimmered in the starlight.  But then a menace struck.  In October of 2012, looters with rock-saws and chisels destroyed this ancient site, leaving everyone with one question . . .Why?  This unfortunate event shocked the local community, including many archaeologists throughout the western United States.  The hope of this film is to use the recent destruction of petroglyphs in Bishop as a focal point to shed light on the broader issue of looting that is so prevalent throughout our country today.



Traditional Ecological Knowledge


Traditional Ecological Knowledge, TEK, promotes an indigenous approach to environmental stewardship.  Our world faces unprecedented ecological challenges of the lack of sustainability and the use of local resources.  Collaborating with indigenous peoples, environmentalists  and the local community is a crucial step toward a more sustainable future.  Using the approach of visual anthropology, this documentary brings to the forefront the importance of being mindful of ecological challenges and collaborating with others to achieve a sustainable future.



Treading Water


Facing an uncertain future, a community in California confronts its reflection in the mirror of water scarcity.  In the new normal of what was once the California dream, activists, commercial fishermen, farmers, local politicians, and others share their anxieties and reveal their values in an effort to find common cause, if not always common ground.  This documentary shows the need of getting the news out about water scarcity and to maintain the water sources of the region.



Unity Through Culture


A struggle to define the past, present and future of Baluan culture erupts to the sound of thundering log drum rhythms.  Soanin Kilangit organizes the largest cultural festival ever held on this island belonging to Papua New Guinea.  However, some traditional leaders argue that Baluan never had culture and that culture comes from the white man that is now destroying their old traditions.  Others take the festival as a welcome opportunity to revolt against 70 years of cultural oppression by Christianity.



Universe of the Oceans


This part of the TV series, Terra X, addressed that fact that oceans cover three-quarters of the earth’s surface and yet we know less about them than about distant planets.  Light penetrates only  the surface layers of the seas.  Below this upper part of the ocean, eternal darkness and mysterious life prevails.  Only with the most up-to-date technology are we able to take a look into this spectacular world.  In the course of this three-part documentary series, international best-selling author Frank Schätzing embarks upon a breathtaking journey through time and space to explore the secrets of the world’s oceans.



Urban Archaeology of Buenos Aires


This film was shown as a documentary series, hosted by archaeologist Daniel Schavelzon, on Encuentro Channel in Argentina.  Comprising eight episodes, it tells of the elaborate history of Argentina and the different archaeological items discovered in an old part of the city of Buenos Aires.  This city was founded in the Sixteenth Century and ultimately strived to conform to European patterns.  Buenos Aires then became known as a multi-cultural, -national, -ethnic and -racial city.



Vav: Stepped Wells of Gujarat


Step-wells are certainly one of India's most original, but little-known, contributions to architecture, and it is uncertain whether they are to be encountered anywhere outside the Indian sub-continent.  The practice of making wells into an art form was started by the Hindus and developed under Muslim rule.  The vavs or baolis (step-wells) of Gujarat comprise two parts: a vertical shaft from which water is drawn and the surrounding inclined subterranean passageways, chambers and steps which provide access to the well.  The galleries and chambers surrounding these wells were often carved profusely with elaborate detail and became cool, quiet retreats during the hot summers.



Warrior Kings of Siberia


In eastern Siberia, recent archaeological excavations have revealed an exceptional site.  Forgotten for decades and perfectly preserved in the frozen ground is the underground fortress of the Samoyeds.  Real archaeological treasures have shed  new light on this people.  At a time when Europe was colonizing the Americas, Russia was interested in this huge space.  However, the Tsars faced resistant hostility from the Samoyed people.  For nearly 200 years, the great Karatché king continued to harass and resist the Russian colonization of Siberia.  However, in 1730, when nothing seemed able to stop it, the clan of the great Karatché suddenly relented. Who struck the fatal blow to the reign of the Warrior Kings of Siberia?



Warschaw Frankenstein


The artist, Boris Sieverts, is in Warsaw for the first time and wants to offer to the people of Warsaw a trip through their city.  For weeks, he wanders with a backpack and a city map through areas which everyone claims are not worth a visit.  Meticulously, he looks for anomalies, cracks and edges on topographic maps and finds places that have eluded perception.  Warsaw Frankenstein lets the spectator experience how refreshing it is to enter the seemingly known from the back. Whoever leaves the theater after the film can try the “Sieverts method” in his or her own city!



Wollemi: A Land Inscribed with Story


Wollemi National Park is one of the most rugged and wild parts of New South Wales, Australia. Since 2001, a team of archaeologists, aboriginal community members and bushwalkers have discovered and documented hundreds of archaeological sites, many with magnificent drawings, stencils, paintings, and engravings in sandstone rock shelters and on rock platforms.  Although they are believed to have been made hundreds to thousands of years ago, they remain significant for aboriginal people today.  This film sees spirituality seen in of some of the art and explores the Wollemi landscape and aboriginal culture through the thoughts and ideas sparked by visits to two of the most important sites: Eagle's Reach and Gallery Rock.



You Can’t Change the World, But You Can Plant a Seed


Ben Aleck is a Numu, Native American artist, and is a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe of Nevada.  Mr. Aleck was raised on the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony and has an exceptional gift to paint and draw.  In 1968, Mr. Aleck was accepted to the California College of Arts in the Bay Area.  A year later, the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the occupation of Alcatraz Island influenced him.  Ben Aleck’s work reflects the social change of the times.



The Young Ancestors


The Young Ancestors follows a group of Native American teens who are under the guidance of a mentor.  These young teens are learning their native language and about their culture through the teaching of the older generation.  Thus starts the burgeoning movement led by Native Americans to revitalize their language and culture within the younger generation and in the face of challenges posed by the outside world.  This is a film about the triumph of honor, respect, courage, and hope within heritage.